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Serving leads Knights past Eagles

by Joshua Spaulding
Sports Editor - Granite State News, Carroll County Independent, Meredith News, Gilford Steamer, Winnisquam Echo, Plymouth Record-Enterprise and Baysider

KENNETT'S Kayla Kennett (left) and Kingswood's Cassie Bates go to the net together in action in Wolfeboro on Sept. 16. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
September 23, 2013
WOLFEBORO — When his team's serve is on, Kingswood volleyball coach Mike Christy has very few worries.

That was certainly the case on Monday, Sept. 16, when his Knights played host to their Carroll County rivals from Kennett.

The Knights got a stellar service performance from senior captain Casey Sargent and rolled to a 3-0 win over the Eagles, despite a third game that saw the Knights fighting back from a deficit.

"We are very capable of being the best serving team in Division II," Christy said. "But it has to be consistent. When it is, we're great."

Sargent led the way from the service line, as she netted 21 points from the stripe, including eight aces.

"That's huge, that's whey she's in that position," Christy said. "She has a great serve."

Sargent came right out of the gate with strong serving, as she helped lead the Knights to a 13-1 lead in the first game. Kennett got a good hit from Allison Wanek to get back on track a bit, but a pair of aces from Taylor Durand continued the strong service run for Kingswood and the Knights opened up an 18-3 lead on the Eagles.

A nice tip from Jordan Dicey and a service ace from Cadie Camille got the Eagles back on track a bit more, but a block from Allie Campbell and a diving get from Emily Jewett continued Kingswood's dominance. Liz McLaughlin followed with an ace and Kingswood was up 21-6.

Kayla Kennett got the Eagels back on the board, but a nice hit from Cassie Bates at the net helped close out the 25-11 win for the Knights.

Emily Rumery got the Knights going in the second game, as she had a big hit to open her team's scoring and then put three aces on the board to stretch the lead to 6-1.

Big hits from McLaughlin and Rumery kept the Knights rolling along before Kennett started battling back. Camille got the rally started with a hit and back-to-back aces from Ashley Lamar cut the lead to 10-7. The Knights won a key point on a great back and forth volley, which saw Sargent, Rumery, Durand and Brittany Manock all make strong plays on the Knight side. Campbell got a big ace to up the lead to 14-8 and the combination of Sargent, Rumery and Bates made it 15-8.

The Eagles didn't back down, as they came back behind strong play from Lamar and Dicey, cutting the lead to 15-11. They were able to get the lead to just three at 16-13, but the Knights finished strong. Sargent put in another ace and Campbell and McLaughlin had big hits at the net to open the game up. A Durand ace finished out the 25-14 win for the Knights.

Rumery got Kingswood out to a quick start in the third game, as a pair of her aces and a McLaughlin kill had the Knights up 3-0.

But Kennett battled back and ran off 10 points in a row to take a 10-3 lead. Kayla Kennett was the hot server for the Eagles, as she had four aces in the run and also made a strong play at the net to get the Eagles their first point. Rachelle Cormier also had a nice play at the net to help the Eagles build their lead.

However, Sargent's strong service day wasn't done, as she returned to the line and had three aces as the Knights ran off their own 10 points in a row. Bates and McLaughlin also had key net play in the run, allowing the Knights to take a 13-10 lead.

The Eagles fought back nicely, with Cormier getting a key play at the net to help bring the score to 16-13. Rumery had a nice kill for Kingswood and Camille had a big block for the Eagles as the back and forth play continued.

A pair of aces from Campbell helped the Knights to open the lead up bit and a nice hit from Sargent made it 21-15. However, strong play from Kennett and Dicey up front helped the Eagles rally back, cutting the lead to 21-18. Kingswood was able to close strong though, finishing with the 25-19 win and a 3-0 overall victory.

Christy was pleased with the way his team fought back in the third game after going down by seven points.

"We have to have the mental capacity to come back, that's a key piece," the Knight coach said. "They've been in big games, but they haven't yet figured out how to push trough for the big win. Now we have to do that."

Durand finished with 14 digs to lead the Knights, while Rumery had five kills and McLaughlin added three. Christy noted there were still a few things to work on, but it was only his team's second game of the season.

We're going to have to get better and do the little things," Christy said. "I know what this team is capable of. Being down doesn't worry me. They're capable of coming back."

And with the early results across the board in Division II showing a lot of parity, Christy likes his team's chances going forward.

"Division II is there for the taking, if we establish ourselves," Christy said. "It's exciting to know we can still be standing at the end."

He also noted that the girls are starting to see what they are capable of.

"It's creeping into their heads what they can do," he said. "If they get a big win against a big team, the confidence will go through the roof."

The Knights will be in action on Friday, Sept. 27, at 6 p.m. against Fall Mountain before hitting the road to Gilford for a rematch with the Golden Eagles at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28. On Monday, Sept. 30, the Knights will host Manchester West at 6 p.m.

The Eagles will be at Oyster River on Friday, Sept. 27, and will be at Coe-Brown on Monday, Sept. 30, both at 6 p.m.

Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 569-3126 or sportsgsn@salmonpress.com.

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